Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Perfect Halloween Host Gift - Ghost Pines Wine

Why not bring the perfect Halloween wine to the celebration?!?!
Ghost Pines Chardonnay....it even sounds spooky :0


Wine is quite a different take on Halloween, I know, but what better way to say THANKS! to your party host than presenting them with this decadent bottle of wine, truly fit for the holiday?!
I was lucky to be asked to sample the Ghost Pines 2007 Chardonnay. Who says no to that?!?!
Ghost Pines wines represents the “rich, wine making heritage of Napa, Sonoma and Monterey counties.” The 2007 Chardonnay is described as having "pronounced fruit signatures using only premium fruits."

While I'm not a huge wine drinker, nor a wine connoisseur by any means, I found this wine to be quite lovely for an "after dinner, kids in bed, let's relax and enjoy the quiet" choice of beverage.

If you aren't a fan of white wine, don't fret! Ghost Pines also makes a Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet to tantalize your taste buds. Ghost Pines wines can be purchased online and at most wine stores.

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Posted by The Spears Family at 2:32 PM Comments Links to this post

Friday, October 22, 2010

Party Lite Mini Pumpkin Jar Set

Fall is in the air! Can’t you smell it? Well if not, let me suggest the Party Lite Mini Pumpkin Jar Set. These 2 ½ inch candles with definitely have you feeling like fall with their awesome scents wafting through your home! These petite little jars are also perfect for the office…of course then everyone will be stopping by to find out what that delicious smell is!

The Mini Pumpkin Jar Set contains three candles, each with a different fall scent: Leaves of Fun, Apple Orchard and Spiced Cider. My favor scent was the Spiced Cider! YUM! Reminds me of all the fabulous scents in my Nana’s kitchen each holiday season!

The Mini Pumpkin Jar Set can be purchased from your local Party Lite consultant for $29.95 for the set of 3. To find a consultant near you, click here.

If fall scents aren’t your thing, don’t worry- Party Lite offers a scent for every nose- they have tons of different scents for candles, fragrances, bath & body and much more.

Right Now, you can enter the Party Lite “Lite Up Your Holidays” Instant Win game & Sweepstakes. Five gift certificates are awarded daily and a grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 room makeover! To enter, click here.


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Posted by The Spears Family at 7:12 PM Comments Links to this post

Milano Supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure with 'Milano Moments'

This month, Pepperidge Farm is turning their Milano cookie packaging pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. They have also launched a Facebook initiative, "Milano Moments" to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

How can You Help? Well, anytime someone posts a personal Milano Moment (a moment in which you realized 'life is sweet') on Milano's Facebook Page in October, Pepperidge Farm will donate $.50 per Moment up to $50,000.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit the Milano Moment facebook page and start posting!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 10:26 AM Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review of EmSeeQ by EmFinders

If you’ve ever had a family member with Alzheimer’s or Autism, then you know that their personal safety and secure is always a concern. Sad, but true, there are several news stories per year regarding Alzheimer’s patients who have wondered off and can't remember who or where they are and how to get home. So, what to do?


“One night after dinner, I was watching TV when a tragic event made me really stop and think. On the news was a story about a young woman who had gone missing; she had a cell phone but was unable to call for help. Which raised the question, ‘Why can’t you use technology to help people like that who are lost and can’t help themselves?’” —Jim Nalley, Co-Founder, EmFinders



Along with Chris Buehler, Jim Nalley founded EmFinders and worked tirelessly to create the EmSeeQ, a device that is worn around the wrist of “at-risk” person and transmits a wireless signal to E-911 systems. Once a person is discovered missing, their location can be determined immediately and reported to the 911 operator who can dispatch emergency responders to the location. Basically, the missing person can be recovered within minutes. For more details on exactly how the EmSeeQ works, click here. For video about this product, click here.



The EmSeeQ is an affordable alternative to personal safety and security. The device runs between $185 - $225 per unit and includes a charging station. The band fits onto the wrist much like a watch and currently comes in black only. There is also a monthly service charge for the connection fee of $25 per month. While this may seem like a lot, I think it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.


The EmSeeQ comes in two versions, Standard Band and Secure Band. I was loaned an EmSeeQ Secure Band device to review.









One thing that I noticed about the EmSeeQ Secure Band (cannot be removed without assistance) is that it is very heavy. This device would probably be better served on an medium to large adult wrist than a child or smaller-frame adult.
While I like the idea of a device such as this for “special needs” children who may be prone to wandering, I do feel like this particular version is more suited to adults. I have no doubt that EmFinders will continue to improve upon this device and hoefully come out with something more suitable for children in the very near future!


Join EmFinders on facebook and twitter!

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Disclosure: I was loaned a EmSeeQ unit for review of this product. All opinions are my own.
Posted by The Spears Family at 6:35 PM Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Think Pink & Treasure Your Chest

Moms, it's time to bond with your breasts!


And the good news is, you can do so alongside other great women who are dedicated to spreading this proactive message. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, E! News host Giuliana Rancic and Lindsay Avner, founder of the national breast and ovarian cancer non-profit Bright Pink, "felt themselves up" during 'Treasure Your Chest' a live webcast to fight breast cancer hosted by Orbit White Bubblemint gum.


Watch as Giuliana and Lindsay share (and show) tips for how young women can be proactive about their breast health, including bonding with their breasts regularly.



I know it can be hard to add just one more thing to our to-do list, but let's pledge together to take the time to perform regular self breast exams.
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Posted by The Spears Family at 9:39 AM Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 18, 2010

Have You Tried This Yet? - P&G Coupon Booklet

P&G is proud to introduce Have You Tried This Yet?, an initiative which showcases innovative products that deliver great performance and allows for shoppers to make wise purchasing decisions for all their everyday needs - from hygiene and beauty care to home goods and snacks - while adding value to their lives.


To support Have You Tried This Yet?, P&G will distribute a brandSAVER coupon booklet on October 31st that features more than $113 in savings on the campaign's featured products in local newspapers throughout the country.
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Posted by The Spears Family at 9:49 AM Comments Links to this post

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boogie Wipes Review

You’ve probably seen them in the store. You’ve probably even snickered at the name. I know I did, the first time I saw them, as I was pushing my impatient 3 year old through the rows and rows of surplus goods in my local Sam’s Club.

Boggie Wipes. It is a funny name for a children’s product. An appropriate name as well, since that’s exactly what these saline wipes are made for. And let me tell you something else too…THEY WORK! Boogie Wipes were developed in 2007 Mindee Doney and Julie Pickens, great friends who just so happen to be moms as well.

What I love about Boogie Wipes is that they are alcohol free, meaning they don’t dry out your skin, and we all know that little noses get highly irritated by all the blowing and wiping we mommies do!

My husband is quick to take a regular alcohol wipe to my daughter’s nose to clean all the dried crusty boogies there. NEWSFLASH! That doesn’t work! You’re just left with more pronounced dried, crusty boogies. Boogies Wipes, on the other hand, actually clean the boogies off, not just mask them until the area dries and they reappear again.

The other great thing about Boogie Wipes is that they contain saline. Yeah, that stuff the doctor gives you to shoot up your nose when you’re all congested. I promise you, this is much easier and much less of a battle than holding down a screaming kid to shoot saline up their nose!

Here's a list of all the point that make Boogie Wipes awesome:

• Made with natural saline to dissolve mucus
• Hypoallergenic
• Alcohol Free
• Moisturize with Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile
• Gentle enough for all ages
• Phthalate and Paraben Free

Boogie Wipes can be purchased at Toys R Us, Babies R Us, WalMart, Sam’s Club, Rite Aid, Rexall, Target, and Walgreens as well as online at http://www.boogiewipes.com/

Before I send you off to purchase your own pack of Boogie Wipes, let me say again…they work!

And really, everyone is happier when you use them for that simple fact.

Okay, now go. Get some. You can thank me later.

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Disclosure: I received the above mentioned items from Boogie Wipes for agreeing to do this review. All opinions are my own.
Posted by The Spears Family at 10:50 PM Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Feelin' GREAT!

Because my husband is so great...and thinks that I am so great... for Christmas this past year, he got me a new sewing machine! Isn't that great?!?!


Okay, enough with the greatness. He did get me an awesome new sewing machine. Really.


I went to this from this:


See the difference? Trust me, it's huge..and I don't just mean size. From 10 stitches to over 150. Manual everything to automatic everything. EVERYTHING. Really. I don't even have to use the presser foot if I don't want to. Yeah, I know. Impressive. Or lazy. Depends on how you look at it.


So, I got this awesome new sewing machine on December 25th. Which was exactly 8 months ago. Do you know what I have sewn on it in that entire 8 month period? Burp cloths. Impressive right? Hardly.


Five months ago, I cut out a pattern for a cute little outfit for my little girl. FIVE MONTHS! [Shameful, I know!] So this month, I decided to make a conscious effort to change that..and sew the outfit before she outgrew it! And by some small miracle... I am almost finished!


I'd forgotten how rewarding it is to sew something just because you want to. And to try something new [I made my first pair of pants!] I still have to add the finishing touches, but I am so proud of myself!



I was going to set a goal to sew at least one "fun" project per month now. But then if I don't reach my goal I'll stress myself out...or I'll stress myself out trying to keep up with my goal, so I decided instead to make it a point to sew for fun whenever it feels right, which is the whole point anyway, I think...
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Posted by The Spears Family at 2:31 AM Comments Links to this post

Sunday, August 22, 2010

etsy bitsy Sunday - August 22

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Today’s etsy bitsy Sunday comes from the Cottage Carries store on etsy. This store features adorable totes, clutches and coin purses created by Rachel, a stay-at-home mom to Cayden and Tucker. (He’s a Chihuahua.)


Here’s what Rachel has to say about how she made the transition from graphic designer to handbag creator:
I had been searching for a hobby that I love for a while. Being an art major in college, of course, I started with painting. I love it, but it was not something that I was passionate about. Still searching, handbags popped into my head. I don’t know where it came from but, I started making bags by buying old vintage bags and restoring them. I got inspired from another blog to start making clutches. And now I want to share them with everyone. Every women deserves a handmade handbag!



I think Rachel’s stuff is fabulous. I love the vintage look of it and I am gaga over her fabric choices! Here are my two favorite items from Cottage Carries:
Key Lime Lady Clutch
I love this. It’s such a timeless piece. I love the lime green and black and the big white flower adds just the right touch! Wouldn’t this be perfect for a little black dress at a summer wedding?!


Polka Dot Flower Pot Tote
This one made my favorites list because of the fabric. I truly believe that I was born in the wrong decade and am a flower child at heart. I love the boho design of the bag, the adorable polkadot lining and, most of all the very bohemian fabric design and colors.


I can’t wait to see what else Rachel comes up with for some more fabulous Cottage Carries!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 8:50 AM Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

my apologies

I missed the etsy bitsy Sunday feature for the 15th. I do apologize for that, but it may happen from time to time as the weekends are devoted to my family, and I do most of my weekend blogging at 645 when my daughter wakes me up and refuses to go turn the tv on by herself. There is the (very) rare occassion that she does allow me to sleep in, and let's face it...when it comes to sleeping in or blogging..well ,you saw who won!


Don't worry though, I'll be back next week. In the meantime, if you or someone who know has a cool etsy product that you think would appeal to me, please click the "etsy bitsy" button on the top left of my blog!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 8:28 PM Comments Links to this post

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Etsy bitsy Sunday - August 8

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My feature item for this week’s etsy bitsy Sunday is this gorgeous bird's nest necklace from the etsy shop Ophelia Weeping.





The nest is made of sterling silver with freshwater pearls serving as the eggs. An 18 inch chain is included in the purchase price.


I don’t know what it is about this particular piece that I love so much, but I do. Simple really…a bird’s nest… but the design is so intricate, as if each piece of the “nest” is arranged just so to get that perfect shape. The blue pearls against the silver are wonderful- they look so blue. So perfect and undisturbed.


Just out of curiosity, I searched “bird nest necklace” on etsy… and although there were many, MANY others available by different sellers, THIS is THE ONE. The others just didn’t appeal. As Goldilocks would say, “too hot, too cold, too lumpy, too hard…” No other birds nest necklace that I have seen compares.


I think the Sterling Silver Birds Nest Necklace With Freshwater Pearls would be a great gift for anyone (including me!!) [And at $25 plus shipping, it’s totally affordable too!] I really wanted to get this for my grandmother’s birthday, thinking that the 3 eggs could represent her 3 children, but I waited too long to order. In all reality though, I really would love to have this necklace for myself as well. I think I’ll add it to my Christmas list, since that is a closer holiday than Mother’s Day ;-)


Ophelia Weeping is only one of many stores managed by Heather. In addition to this jewelry store, Heather also has etsy stores featuring whimsical accessories for girls, Photo Letter art & Fine Art, Jewelry making supplies and graphic design. Wow! This stay at home mom of two definitely has a full plate!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 11:58 AM Comments Links to this post

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Little Sister Embroidered Shirt Giveaway [from my etsy shop]

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So, I'm on an etsy kick right now. I truly love etsy because it's an outlet and venue that connects crafters, giving them an opportunity to sell their creations worldwide!

In my spare time [at some point in my life I'll figure out when that is] I enjoy sewing and creating. My husband and I have also recently begun taking on embroidery business as well as making the vinyl window decals you often see in car windows. Since I really have ZERO spare time to set up shop at local craft fairs, my etsy store, Pink Toodle by keilann designs, was born. I also sell a lot of things locally to friends and co-workers. I wish I had more time to put in to promoting my etsy store, but again that whole spare time thing comes up. So I do what I can.

Today, the "what I can" includes holding a giveaway on my blog for this embroidered "Little Sister" shirt*.

The shirt is a size 18 months, white and 100% cotton.
The embroidery colors are light pink and brown.
I sell these as a "Sibling Shirt set" on my etsy store for $25.


In the next few days I will be listing my newest item, the ipad sleeve. These are also embroidered with name, which is included in the purchase price.

So of course, I want you to visit my etsy store! Tell me what you like. That's your mandatory entry. [Buy what you like, you get 5 more entires.]

Follow my blog on GFC, get 1 more entry.
Follow me on twitter, get another entry.
Retweet this post (click the green box at the top of this post), get 2 additional entires.
Same goes for facebook- share and get 2 extra entires.
Post my button on your wall you get 4 extra entires.

Make sure that you leave a comment for each entry. If your actions = more than one entry, comment that many times.

Contest will close at 10PM EST on Sunday, August 15, 2010. Winner will be notified and posted.

*Sorry, no substitutions permitted, open to US residents only.

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Posted by The Spears Family at 8:52 PM Comments Links to this post

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Etsy Bitsy Sunday - August 1

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For my first [etsy bitsy sunday] etsy store feature , I chose this:

















This is an original 8x10 photograph entitled "Painter Shoes." This awesome photo can be purchased at the javachip etsy shop here.

Okay, so I love this for various reasons...
1] I SUPER LOVE Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. Seriously. [and i am SOOOOOO glad that my daughter has inherited that love since converse look so cute on children's size 11 feet!]

2] Red is my favorite color

3] Dried paint splatters on the floor means an artist is at work...what a sense of exhilaration and freedom!

4] Cute laces, tattered jeans=comfortable!

5] Don't all the colors make you think of Skittles?!?! Oh man, Skittles would be sooo good right now! :-p

I would really love to have this photograph to hang in my office at work. I think looking at it would keep me grounded and serve as a gentle reminder of what life is about- finding your passion and staying true to yourself.
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Posted by The Spears Family at 2:21 AM Comments Links to this post

Friday, July 30, 2010

New feature.... Etsy Bitsy Sunday

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I love etsy. Seriously. It's like a giant craft fair where you can find anything you're looking for and stuff you didn't even know you were looking for! I could spend hours just looking at all the awesome handmade items on etsy. oh wait...I do!

In appreciation of all things etsy, I'm starting a new weekly feature... Etsy Bitsy Sunday.
Each Sunday, I will tell you about one interesting item I found on etsy. Well at least one...no promises that it won't be more.
So, tune in this Sunday for the first installment of Etsy Bitsy Sunday- and until then, check out MY etsy shop [yes, this is my shameless plug.]

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Posted by The Spears Family at 10:39 PM Comments Links to this post

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hot Chicks! Candles

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SanLori is a gift company run by two college friends, Sandra Marbaise (San) and Lorraine Maxwell (Lori). They took the business plunge after deciding that they could build a creative, thriving business and also have an active family life. And they never looked back.

SanLori currently offers stationery, including birth announcements, kids party invitations, thank you cards, wedding invitations, and much more. Their designs are adorably unique and stunning.
Recently, SanLori has introduced new line of products…candles!

These aren’t just any old candles either! Their Hot Chicks! Candles, which are available in 6 deliciously chic scents, are 8oz. poured glass candles standing approximately 4 inches tall. They come adorably packaged in a white gift box decorated with yellow antique swirls as well as yellow and pink Hot Chicks! The package is topped off with a hot pink "feather puff"! There is also a "TO" and FROM" space right on the box, making this a great gift item for family, friends and co-workers!

SanLori was gracious enough to send me a Hot Chick candle, which my 3 year old daughter promptly claimed as her own. What can I say- the child is in love with all things girly! I think that’s great news for this company though- I loved the packaging and so did my daughter…meaning their products appeal to girly girls of all ages!

In addition to the Hot Chick candle, I was also sent samples of all 6 scents that SanLori offers in this product line. Here’s a breakdown of each scent, as described on their website:

"Cosmo Compatible" - a fruit infused mélange of cranberry and citrus liqueur reminiscent of a very popular cocktail a’ la Carrie Bradshaw

"La Vie Gypsy!" - combines the ancient oils of Sandalwood and Patchouli known for their earthy notes

"Espresso Yourself" – contains the warm, rich flavor of a cappuccino along with the sweet infusion of Hazelnut

"Olive My Love" - combines the fragrances of olive, sage and thyme to create a fresh and light fragrance mixture that is contemporary and carefree

"Sea & Be Seen" - contains Ocean Breeze and White Ginger scents, infused with a light floral scent that will take you back to the beach

"French Kiss" - combines the fragrances of lavender fields and the lemony scent of verbena that infuses this candle with an energizing and mood-enhancing quality

My favorite of these scents are Espresso Yourself and French Kiss.

I LOVED the Espresso Yourself candle! Seriously- it smells SO GOOD! I was actually quite shocked that I liked this one so much, because I am NOT a coffee person. At all. But something about this mixture of scents seriouly made me want to just lick this candle! HAHA! I didn’t, of course, but I really loved the way it smelled… rich, creamy, and deliciously yummy! I guess I’m just a sucker for Hazelnut! This candle would be great to burn in a living room or dining area…it’s very warm and inviting.

I like the French Kiss Hot Chicks! Candle for a bedroom. It’s a sweet, airy scent that makes you feel carefree and in love, running through poppy fields. Well, that’s what it makes me think of at least! It is also supposed to have mood-enhancing qualities…who wouldn’t welcome that?!

As mentioned before, these candles are approximately 8 oz, in a 4 inch tall glass container. They also come packaged in an adorable, super chic gift box and are reasonably priced at $15. You can purchase online at SanLori. Or, you can enter to win one!

Yep, that’s right, SanLori is giving away one each of their deliciously scented Hot Chick candles to fans who comment on this blog, their Facebook or Twitter fan pages or the SanLori blog. When you comment, just say which scent you would prefer. Winners will be selected randomly. Six candles total will be awarded. Winners will be announced on July 30, 2010.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned items from SanLori for agreeing to do this review. All opinions are my own. Winners for the Candle Giveaway will be selected by SanLori and prizes issued accordingly.

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Posted by The Spears Family at 5:07 AM Comments Links to this post

Monday, July 19, 2010

Suddenly Salad Pasta Review & Giveaway

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

WINNER: The winner of this contest Tracie Trump who says... "I have been makingthem for years and my favorite add in is fresh chicken breast!" Congratulations, Tracie! I hope you enjoy your prize pack from Betty Crocker & MyBlogSpark!

Obviously, I’ve heard of the Betty Crocker ‘Suddenly Salad” product before, I live in SC, not under a rock! But, although I have heard of it, I have never purchased it. Admittedly I’m not much of a cook. [NOTE: I am trying to make progress in that area- Grilled cheese is my specialty!]

Anywho, a few weeks ago, the folks over at Betty Crocker, through MyBlog Spark, were kind enough to offer me the opportunity to participate in their “Suddenly Delicious” campaign in which, I received a sample of the GREEK Suddenly Salad Pasta, a Pyrex storage container, a Zak! Designs serving bowl and an insulated tote.

Last weekend, my in-laws came over for dinner, so I decided to give the Suddenly Salad a try. Since I was also cooking chicken wings, I needed something that would be very low maintenance.
Well, I can now honestly say that I was missing out by not trying this product before.
I say this for several reasons:
1- It was EASY! Seriously… Boil the water, add the noodles, and let them cook. Drain, rinse and add the seasoning. The End.
2- It was GOOD! My in-laws loved it! I thought it was really good…and I’m not typically one to eat colored noodles. [Nothing against noodles. I don’t tend to eat colored chips either.]

As if these two reason’s aren’t enough, Suddenly Salad comes in a variety of flavors which you can check out here. You’ll find great recipes, including one for Greek Tossed Pasta Salad, using Suddenly Salad Caesar pasta salad mix, and Garden Ranch Pasta Salad, using Suddenly Salad ranch & bacon pasta salad mix. When I made the Greek Pasta Salad, I did add some Parmesan cheese in after mixing it.

Have you ever used any of the Suddenly Salad products? Do you have a special recipe for these products to share? What would be the idea atmosphere to have such a quick, easy and delicious Suddenly Salad product on hand to make?

Answer 2 to 3 of theses questions, and you’ll be entered to win a “Suddenly Delicious” prize pack of your own from Betty Crocker via MyBlog Spark. The Prize pack contains a sample of the Suddenly Salad Pasta mix, a Pyrex storage container, a Zak! Designs serving bowl and an insulated tote.

For extra entries:
1- Follow me via GFC and leave a comment.
2- Blog about this contest on your blog and leave a comment with the link.

Leave a separate comment for each entry.
You must complete the mandatory entry for extra entries to count.

Contest will run until 10pm EST on Friday, July 30, 2010.
Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned items from Betty Crocker via MyBlog Spark for agreeing to do this review. All opinions are my own.

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Posted by The Spears Family at 2:27 PM Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sometimes a girl just wants to be...

...CRAFTY!

There are so many "artistic" things that I want to do!

1. Learn to do website [blog] design - This is at the TOP of my list. I REALLY want to learn to do this! I know enough to build a basic site, but I want to learn Flash and CSS and all the cool stuff!
2. Learn to sew.
3. Learn to smock.
4. Learn to make delicious dinner... but do it quickly.
5. Learn to use a crock pot.
6. Have a tie-dye day with my DD.
7. Spend a Sunday morning downtown w/my DH taking photographs.
8. Learn to applique.

I hope that one day I will find the time to do them all, but right now, with working outside the home full-time, an active [high-maintenance] three year old, a husband who loves to spend time doing things as a family [God bless him for that!] and trying to prep our house to put it on the market... well I'm feeling like I'll never have time to learn anything again! Guess it's a good thing I marked "Learn to Sew" off already, huh?
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Posted by The Spears Family at 11:30 PM 2 comments Links to this post

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adorable, Afforable Hairbow Sets!

If you're mom to a little girl, you probably have the same obsession with hairbows that I do. I love adorable hairbows! Solid, striped, curly, shaped...each outfit must have their own. My little one is now three and, to her father's dismay, she shares the same love of hairbows [and shoes] as I.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a link to a contest in which the blogger was giving away hairbows. Of course, I'm not going to turn down the opportunity to win free hairbows, so I decided to check it out. I am so glad that I did!

Cami, the creator of Baby Hair Bows makes the cutest little hairbows.. and even better... she sells them in sets! I looked through her photos and saw several that I loved. Guess what?!?! I was a winner in the contest! I choose the bandana set to go with an adorable cowgirl pillowcase dress I made. I received my hairbows in the mail very quickly and let me say, the bows are even cuter in person!

Have I mentioned that I love adorable hairbows?!?! Even more I love adorable hairbows that are also AFFORDABLE. Baby Hair Bows are @ $5 per SET! Yes, that's TWO HAIRBOWS for FIVE DOLLARS!

I decided that I must find out more about this wonderful woman who makes and sells these super sweet hairbows at awesome prices. So I did.

Who are you and where are you from?
I'm Cami, a 27-year-old mother of two girls under 2 years old. I'm originally from Houston, TX but my husband's in the Air Force so we move often. We're currently in Monterey, CA and loving living on the beach.

Why hairbows?
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I noticed the growing trend of putting baby girls in hair bows. But I had a difficult time finding hairbows and if I could find them, they were outrageously expensive or didn't come in the colors that matched the clothes I had for her. So I decided to learn how to make my own.

How did you get started in the hairbow making business?
I tried several different types but settled on one kind of bow that I liked the best and was good at making. After making a set for my daughter, I started giving them out as presents and then did a demonstration at church on how to make them. I made so many bows that I decided to start selling them. So I set up my blog and started selling them mostly by word of mouth. Last year a friend and I shared a booth at a craft fair and sold our hair bow creations. It was a lot of fun.

How long have you been making bows?
About 3 years

How long have you been selling them?
About 2 years

How long does it take to make a set?
Once I get all the materials together, I can make a pair of hairbows in about 8 minutes, but I've had a lot of practice.

There is some disappointing news to this lovely story though... Cami has decided to put the bow making business on hold for now so that she can focus her time and energy on raising her two adorable daughters and completing her college degree. DRATS for me, KUDOS to Cami!

The good news here [besides the fact that Cami is earning her degree and raising her girls] is that she is trying to sell out the remainer of her inventory...and she needs your help!

Visit Baby Hair Bows and have a look around. If the bows are pictured, they are still in stock. Low inventory items will have a * next to them. If you see a set of bows that you adore, BUY THEM! [Seriously, they are $5 a set!] Don't forget to tell her that Bloggymom sent you!

BONUS GOOD NEWS: If you order 2 sets of Baby Hair Bows, you can get the third set FREE!

Also, Baby Hair Bows will be hosting a GIVEAWAY Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 16. The winner will get 1 set of hairbows!! To enter, visit Baby Hair Bows.

One more thing...the friend Cami mentioned above? Well she sells hairbows too. So once Cami closes shop, she'll referring her customers to her friend's blog... you'll just have to go back to her site to see who she is!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 12:06 AM 2 comments Links to this post

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Little Looster Review & Giveaway

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

WINNER: The winner of this contest has been determined. Congratulations to Candace! I hope that Aidan & Nadia find this product as useful as K does!



Potty Training. Ugh.
Not the most exciting part of parenting. A necessary evil.

I remember when we first decided to start, around 18 months, I did research on seemingly HUNDREDS of pottys. I read article after article and review after review on the “best potty.” We finally settled on a very simple, although not exactly “cheap” potty.

“Why can’t we just put her on the regular toilet?” my husband asked. Of course I explained to him that A) she couldn’t reach it in the precious few seconds she would have to get the clothes down and the tail on the toilet before the waterworks started flowing and B) she might fall in.

Our family was very lucky that our childcare provider worked with us and helped to potty train our daughter. She was fully potty trained at 21 months, which we were very happy with. Finally, out of the woods! Or so we thought.

See, the thing about the fancy potty chairs that we parents don’t realize as we are caught up in all the excitement of potty training is that they don’t grow with your child. So, while my daughter was potty trained before two, she hit a growth spurt and grew several inches. The potty chair I spent so many hours researching was still the same height and became more of a hassle than a help. At the same time, she still couldn’t reach the big potty and also ran the risk of falling in.

We solved the falling in problem by purchasing a potty seat, and attempted to solve the “can’t reach” issue by purchasing a cute little blue and green step stool. It’s a rectangle shape, and we put it in front of the potty…so she could step right up. It worked great….except for the times that it wasn’t there, which was becoming increasingly more frequent.

What happened to it? Well, she would move it to the sink to wash her hands and not put it back. My husband would move it to the side so it “wasn’t in the way” and not put it back. So basically, my solution wasn’t really a solution because, while she would make it to the bathroom on time, precious seconds would be wasted trying to find the stool so that she could climb up on the potty. Imagine the messes I had to clean up!

“I wish there were some sort of stool that was tall enough for her to reach the toilet, but was contoured to fit around it, so it didn’t get in the way,” I remember thinking to myself. Well…guess what?!?! THERE IS!

Mother of 3, Monica Mylet, invented just such a product which she calls The Little Looster… a booster for the loo! She came up with the design and need after parenting 3 kids through the potty training process.

The Little Looster website states, “As an extension of the toilet, the Little Looster never needs to be shuffled around the bathroom. All grown-ups can use the toilet while standing or sitting without needing to move it out of the way.”

Some advantages of the Little Looster include:
Comfort - Provides total comfort & leg support for years of use.
No more painful pins-n-needles feeling when little legs are not supported
Confidence – Promotes complete certainty.
No scary feeling of “falling in.” Kids legs do all the work.
Cleanliness – Allows children to have their hands free at all times.
No need to grip the back of the toilet seat or the inner, germ covered rim.

Monica was kind enough to send us a Little Looster to try out. When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the size. The Little Looster is made of molded plastic. It’s a contoured stool that is steady and sturdy with a very wide step area, which I was very excited about (my daughter has fallen off more than one stool in her time.) The one thing that I wish the Little Looster had was a rubber grip along the bottom, but that’s really a non-issue because there are some many great things about it!

The Little Looster is taller than most step stools. I think this is great because it allows her to hop right up- no squirming and scooting to adjust. I would imagine that the height is also a great advantage for potty training boys- makes it much harder to “miss” the target!

Here’s the other great thing about the Little Looster- since I placed it in the bathroom, it hasn’t been moved! It fits perfectly around the toilet and doesn’t get in anyone’s way! Woooo-hoooo! We found a keeper! Thanks so much, Monica for developing this great concept and for make it available to other parents!

BUY IT
Currently, the Little Looster is sold at My Precious Kid in Hillsboro Oregon and online at http://www.littlelooster.com/. Also, if you’re a retailer interested in carrying this great product in your store, you can contact Little Looster for more details.

WIN IT
Monica has graciously agreed to send one lucky Bloggymom Reviews reader the Little Looster… a booster for the loo! This prize is a $39.99 value and a must have for any parents who will be potty-training at some point!

To enter this contest, leave a comment telling me what age you think is best to start potty training and any tips you've heard that you (might) try for the process.

To earn extra entries, you can also
(1) Follow this blog via GFC
(1) Follow me on twitter @BloggymomSC
(1) Follow Little Looster on twitter @Loostermama
(3) Tweet about this contest using this statement “Win a Little Looster potty booster from Bloggymom Reviews @ http://bit.ly/9HhixM"
(3) Post about this contest on your blog, leaving a link to your post in the comments.

Leave a comment for each entry. You have until 10pm EST on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 to enter.

Read my review of Suddenly Salad and enter to win some pretty nifty items from Betty Crocker!

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Posted by The Spears Family at 9:09 AM 41 comments Links to this post
 

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